AMD and risk of progression.

A new study asks, if a patient has unilateral AMD (early or late), what is the chance they will develop bilateral AMD in the next 5 years?
The authors analyzed data from three huge studies (Blue Mountains Eye Study, Beaver Dam Study, and Rotterdam Study).  They found that over a 5-year period, about 19–28% of unilateral AMD (early or late AMD) cases progressed to bilateral, and 27–68% of unilateral late AMD cases progressed to bilateral.
Risk factors for progression to bilateral AMD include older age, AMD genetic risk and smoking (history of or current smokers).

Take home: 20-25% of patients with unilateral AMD will progress to bilateral in five years.  And, more specifically, up to 50% of patients with unilateral late AMD will progress to bilateral in five years.  The only modifiable risk factor for progression is smoking.

Jaclyn Garlich
Dr. Garlich graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2010 and completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease at the St. Louis VA. In 2013, she developed an optometry clinical reference mobile app available in the iTunes store. In 2016, she founded 20/20 Glance, a weekly optometry newsletter that gives a rundown on clinically relevant optometry news in an easy to digest format.

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